Return to Monte Mario

13 Apr
13 April 2016. As we looked down on Roma from 450-foot-high Monte Mario, the highest point in town, I contemplated how wonderful it was to be hiking at 10:30 AM on a Tuesday and how lucky we are to be doing so in Roma. Ah, retirement is good!
Thanks to Melissa for this nice picture of Bill, me and Ric at Lo Zodiaco, overlooking Rome from the west.

Thanks to Melissa for this nice picture of Bill, me and Ric at Lo Zodiaco, overlooking Rome from the west.

Today we retraced our route from Thanksgiving 2012, aided once again by the book “Rome the Second Time: 15 Itineraries That Don’t Go to the Colosseum.”  We were joined by friends and fellow-embassy retirees, Bill and Melissa, who had not yet made this trek. Very few minutes into the hike one completely forgets one is surrounded by a major city. All you hear is birds singing. Climbing past views of St. Peter’s Basilica and ever higher above the quartiere of Prati, after about 45 minutes one emerges at the Bar/Restaurant Lo Zodiaco, a perfect place for refreshment and contemplating the city at your feet.
The Madonna peaks through the trees as we descend Monte Mario.

The Madonna peaks through the trees as we descend Monte Mario.

The second part of the “hike” becomes urban, with some rather intense traffic, then one enters the woods yet again, enjoying views over the soccer stadium, a shiny Madonna high on the hill, and finally the Foro Italico (formerly Mussolini’s Forum) and the Stadio dei Marmi. It is an area of Roma that most visitors don’t see, but it is a treat to explore these pockets of the city a piede (on foot) and work off post-hike lunch before even eating it. 
We ate pizza at a convenient location along the Tevere by the Foro Italico. Our Weekly Pizza would only rate this place at 6-out-of-10 points, but it was convenient and we four enjoyed wrapping up our urban trek with lunch at the very Italian hour of 13:30. Ahhhh, retirement!
Click on any picture below for a better view. 

7 Responses to “Return to Monte Mario”

  1. John Henderson April 18, 2016 at 07:07 #

    A great idea for those wanting to get away from crowds in Rome. It’s also a great place to take a picnic.

    John Henderson
    Dog-Eared Passport:


    • gooddayrome April 18, 2016 at 15:32 #

      Yes, it would be a lovely picnic spot, especially that area on the back side overlooking the Vatican.


  2. ckleonard April 14, 2016 at 00:29 #

    What a delightful sounding Tuesday! Yes, retirement certainly does have its benefits! I enjoyed all the photos. Thank you.


  3. Gayle Seely April 13, 2016 at 16:00 #

    I love this kind of hiking, too. Lovely country elements right in the city – and views, too. It seems to me that Roma is one of the best walking cities in the world – based on your photos over the years. I hope the Italians know how fortunate they are. I forgot to comment on the last post about the 3rd holiday that you gift your portiere: I forget the name but it is in the middle of august and was started by Caesar Augustus, I think. Ah, to live in a place where they hold on to so many of the small historical ideas – just knowing that it was started by the Caesar that long ago makes it a wonderful holiday.
    And I LOVE the idea of having lots of scarves – which I do – but now I will say that it is to prevent the Italian term for cold air on my neck. Thanks for all these glimpses.


    • gooddayrome April 13, 2016 at 16:48 #

      Parts of this hike reminded me of Forest Park: so near to the city and yet so far! Yes, Ferragosto, the mid-August holiday. If you get a chance, try to rent “Mid-August Lunch.” It is an Italian comedy set on Ferragosto. It’s a big family day holiday here, adn one of very few non-religious holidays.

      A neighborhood portiere….like a concierge. I like it!


  4. Marcia April 13, 2016 at 13:22 #

    That Madonna is spectacular!


    • gooddayrome April 13, 2016 at 13:42 #

      Indeed! You can see her from quite far away, once you know what you are looking for!


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